Winter is fast approaching and mountain passes will once again be covered with snow. Before the weather changes, it’s important to understand Oregon’s winter chain laws and brush up on safety tips for mountain driving. Many car accidents could have been easily prevented each year had drivers heeded basic equipment laws and practiced winter driving safety. Auto accident lawyers in Oregon like Demetri Tsohantaridis P.C. handle cases every year where caution and precaution could have prevented injuries and deaths.
Before you hit the road this winter, it is important to understand Oregon’s chain laws. When driving during snow conditions, road signs will indicate passes where chains or traction tires are required. Sometimes the signs will be lit and sometimes they won’t have lights. It is important to know which roads require chains and traction tires before you head out. The Oregon Department of Transportation also allows vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less to use traction tires instead of chains. Certain tires are designed for use during severe snow. During road closures, all vehicles may still be required to use chains.
Because road conditions can change rapidly during the winter, it is important to check the weather report for road closures before you leave home. That way, if you do have to travel, you bring the right equipment to keep you safe during your trip. The Oregon Department of Transportation runs a Trip Check website where travellers can check for road conditions and closures and plan accordingly.
In general, when driving on mountain roads, it’s a good idea to chain up. Putting on chains for the first time can be a challenge. If you haven’t put on chains before, now is the time to practice. Don’t try to put on chains for the first time on the side of a snowy mountain road.
When it comes to chaining up your tires, it is important to find chains that fit your car’s tires. Never deflate your tires in order to make chains fit. Additionally, it is important to remember that chaining up is a preventative measure. Don’t wait until your car is slipping and sliding on a mountain road to put on your chains. Put them on early to prevent accidents. When using chains, you should avoid driving faster than thirty miles per hour.
When driving during snowy conditions, drivers can also take some basic standard winter driving precautions to keep themselves and other drivers safe. Allowing extra room to stop, allowing extra time to get to a destination, turning on headlights, braking gently (allowing time to brake gently), and carrying emergency gear can reduce your risk of accidents during the winter months.
Winter driving safety is everyone’s responsibility. Carrying chains and knowing how to use them is not only good sense on Oregon’s mountain roads—it’s the law. Unfortunately, every year, many drivers get into accidents on Oregon’s winter roads. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, Demetri Tsohantaridis P.C., Attorney at Law may be able to assist you. A lawyer can review the circumstances leading up to your accident to ensure that the other driver followed Oregon law.